Re: How Many Belong to Professional Organizations? (was RE: Salary Review)

Subject: Re: How Many Belong to Professional Organizations? (was RE: Salary Review)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 15:39:43 -0700

Tom Murrell wrote:

> The quoted part of Bruce's comment got me to wondering. It's not that I
> question Bruce's accuracy; besides 20-50% is a wide enough range to
> cover his ass <g>.

I used to be an academic - and an English instructor, at that.
You won't pin me down to hard facts if I can help it. <g>

The exact percentage is hard to estimate, of course. Writers are
hard to track as a group, partly because they haven't been

recognized as one for too many years, and partly because of their
habits. Contractors are especially hard to estimate.

But here's one way to do a ballpark figure for your area:

1.) Get the size of the local STC chapter in your area from the
STC web site.

2.) Get the high-tech employment figures for your province, state
or city. These figures may omit all sorts of tech-writers,
including policy and procedure writers and those employed in old

economy companies, but that can't be helped, I suspect.

3.) Divide the employment figures by the number of other
high-tech workers it takes to support one writer. Check the
archives on the options, but I suggest that, including coders and
all other staff, a ratio of 30-1 is reasonable. If it's high,
better to aim high than low. The result is an estimate of the
number of writers in your area.

4.) Compare the estimate to the enrollment in the local STC
chapter, and calculate the percentage

Besides being an interesting exercise for the curious, this
mental exercise will also tell you how much faith to put in the
STC salary survey.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"Dundee, he is mounted and rides up the street,
And the bells they ring back and the drums they are beat,
But the provost (douce man) says, 'Just let them be,
'For the town is well rid o' that devil Dundee."
-Sir Walter Scott, "Bonnie Dundee"

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